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Dr Michael Beasley nominated for Bath & Wells

28 April 2022

Next Bishop of Bath & Wells is to be Dr Beasley, at present Suffragan Bishop of Hertford

Diocese of Bath & Wells

Dr Michael Beasley, with his wife, Lizzie

Dr Michael Beasley, with his wife, Lizzie

THE next Bishop of Bath & Wells is to be Dr Michael Beasley, at present Suffragan Bishop of Hertford in the diocese of St Albans, Downing Street announced on Thursday.

He succeeds the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, who took early retirement on medical grounds last June (News, 19 March 2021).

Dr Beasley, who is 53, was consecrated bishop in 2015. He served as Oxford Diocesan Director of Mission from 2010, and was an Hon. Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, from 2014 to 2015. He was Vice-Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge, from 2003 to 2007, and also held a post in the Partnership for Child Development, a research group in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College, University of London.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Beasley helped to establish the VaccinAid campaign, which has raised more than £10 million to support vaccine provision around the world (News, 22 March 2021). In 2019, during the Ebola-virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he worked to support church leaders in the country to tackle the epidemic.

The Bishop holds a D.Phil. in epidemiology from Oxford, and is one of the three conveners of the Anglican Health and Community Network, which was launched last year (News, 16 April 2021).

Speaking about his nomination before the announcement, he said: “We have all been through a challenging few years. The Covid pandemic pushed us all apart. Now is the time to come back together. Our churches have an essential role in helping us rebuild communities and in facing the challenges present to us both internationally and at home.”

He continued: “We have strong family connections with Somerset, and I’m very much looking forward to working alongside its people, communities, and churches.”

Dr Beasley has described himself as having “married into Somerset”: his wife, Lizzie, grew up in the county. The couple have two young children.

His installation is expected in the autumn.

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